Hi my name is Ashley and I blog over at Running Bun. I consider my tiny little space of the internet to be a place where I can write about my fitness activities and how I am feeling (good and bad). When Melissa asked me to guest post, I wanted to simply share the feelings I have had lately.
I was injured during the past 5 weeks, and I spoke about it relatively frequently on my blog. My feelings about the situation changed every 10 minutes! It was a disaster. One moment I was extremely angry over a simple thing like missing my train because I couldn’t even run for it and the next moment I was completely at peace with my situation. Before my foot injury, I was diving right into some tough training for the New York City Marathon. I was on top of my game and nailing paces I never thought I would see on my Garmin! I experienced a runner’s high after every single training run, I felt unstoppable! When I found out I would have to stop running for about 4-5 weeks, I went from unstoppable to dead in my tracks in a single second.
When I was given the green light to start running (and fully exercising without modification), I fully accepted the fact that I may not be able to run the NYC Marathon in just under 7 weeks. However, this past Monday, I ran. I ran with an empty mind and a heart full of genuine love for the sport. I am no longer angry, feeling sorry for myself and most importantly, I am longer experiencing feelings of self-doubt. I believe I can cross the finish line of this race.
In the past two years I have fallen in love with racing and have become very competitive (especially with myself). I want to give it my all and produce a personal best during each race. Relatively fast feet and a cluttered mind used to get me to the finish line. What’s allowing me to currently reassess my goal (from a speedy-for-me 3:40 to crossing the finish line with a smile on my face) is the fact that running means more to me than competing.
Running makes me respect my body. I constantly repeat to myself, “Do I want to run today, or do I want to run forever?” The ability to run for my entire life is what drives me to make healthy choices regarding my diet and rest when my body calls for it. My body is the only thing I will own for my entire life, and injury recovery has helped me learn to pay attention to my its needs.
Running humbles me. I can’t even come close to holding paces I was running 5 weeks ago. I respect that it will take time to build back up.
Running makes me feel powerful. My heart and mind are filled with endless amounts of confidence and possibility of my body’s abilities! Training showed me what I was capable of accomplishing. I can (and will) be there again!
I believe everyone could use some “running” in their lives. It is important to have something that helps build confidence and to love whatever that is enough to return to it after time away, whether from an injury or life in general!
At some point in the future, when fully healthy and prepared, I will run the NYC Marathon again. I will let my competitive side race! Until then, I fully plan on running on November 4, 2012 and I no longer feel the need to get back to my pre-injury training paces. I plan on enjoying the race and its atmosphere. It will be unforgettable first NYC Marathon experience!